Stakeholder Capitalism

California’s Role in the Responsible Business Movement

Some say capitalism is broken. Others say it’s working just as intended. Either way, the current system has led to profound inequity. Globally, the 26 richest people in the world have as much wealth as the poorest 3.8 billion and in California, the 5th largest economy in the world, a handful of those very 26 reside in the same state where many cannot afford to pay for a $400 emergency. Homelessness is at an all time high and millennials are predicted to become the first generation to do worse than their parents – not due to their stereotyped lack of diligence, but instead to the wealth gap and a wholesale lack of jobs that offer a living wage. Where does business stand in all of this?

Half a century after economist Milton Friedman argued that a firm’s chief responsibility is to maximize shareholder returns, boardrooms across the US are rethinking the purpose of business. Corporate leaders across the world -- including many in California -- are considering a shift in focus to measure their stakeholder return: the value their companies deliver to customers, employees, communities, and the planet.

Join New America CA for a lunch discussion on Stakeholder Capitalism. Together we'll explore questions such as:

  • Whose job is it to rebuild an inclusive and equitable economy that serves both wealth holders and those in economic precarity?
  • What should be the role of government in supporting corporate transparency regarding impact on stakeholders?
  • Are shifts or a reimagining of capitalism necessary? Are they realistic?
  • What role will or should California play in the global movement for better business?

Lunch will be provided.


Jess Friesen,
Director of Strategy and Operations, B Lab

Aneesh Raman, @AneeshRaman
Senior Advisor, Economic Strategy and External Affairs, Office of Governor Gavin Newsom

Heerad Sabeti
CEO, Fourth Sector Group


Autumn McDonald, @Autumn_McDo
Senior Fellow & Head of New America CA

Related Topics
Narrative Change Economic Equity